ERIC Number: ED301604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Relationships among Language Proficiency, Language of Test Administration and Special Education Eligibility for Bilingual Hispanic Students with Suspected Learning Disabilities.
Wilkinson, Cheryl Yelich; Holtzman, Wayne H., Jr.
The relationship between the relative language proficiencies of bilingual children and their scores on tests administered in one or both languages was studied in students referred to special education because of suspected learning disabilities. Bilingual Hispanic students (25 males and 15 females) in grades 2 through 4 from an urban school district, who had been referred to special education and were considered as limited English proficient, were assessed using intelligence and achievement tests in English and Spanish. Only a moderate relationship was found between language proficiency and IQ and achievement test scores. Most test means did not differ for Spanish- and English-dominant children. Most of the children demonstrated fairly equal proficiency in both languages. Stronger relationships might have been obtained for children whose proficiency in one language much exceeded their proficiency in the other. The effect of the language of test administration on IQ scores was difficult to assess. However, between 9% and 17% of the group qualified for learning-disabled services on the basis of English (but not Spanish) scores; thus, underscoring the need to consider native language assessment for all bilingual children. Twelve data tables and one graph conclude the document. (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Tests, Bilingual Education, Bilingual Students, Diagnostic Tests, Elementary Education, Eligibility, English, Hispanic American Students, Intelligence Tests, Language Dominance, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Learning Disabilities, Limited English Speaking, Spanish Speaking, Special Education, Test Bias, Testing
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).